Where we live now there are a cluster of cottages on the side of a hill. On three sides there is sea, and when the storms come you can hear the waves break on the wide beach. You can smell the salt sea. The air is clear and clean and fresh.
Our cottage is small and tatty and held together by the webs of spiders. The garden is wild and full of bright birds. The house is warm. At night lights shine from the windows, and you can hear music and sometimes laughter. Smoke rises from the chimney and when the door is open there is a smell of cooking.
At one time over 100 people lived here with their cats, children, dogs and horses. There were two chapels and even a school house. The cottages were small and poor and farm workers kept the fires burning.
There was a well where the women would meet to talk and draw water and exchange news.
Now the well is dry. Some of the houses have people living in them, but more than half have no one. No lights at night. The windows stare out blindly on the world. No smoke from the chimneys, no voices of children, no cats or dogs. They stand like cold empty shells devoid of all life other than the odd scuttle of mouse. We think it is sad. They would make good homes for more cats.
And there are ruins that once were cottages, small and low, one roomed and full of life. Now they have ivy for walls and the sky for a roof. This is where the ghost cats sing.
Tonight the sharp claw moon rides again in a clear sky. All is stillness outside, except for the flutter of late bats who should be at their winter sleep. Not even a sound from the calm sea.